The Grand Bargain that has eluded President Obama and Congress could now be within the grasp of Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington Legislature: Tax certainty that benefits not only Boeing but also every business from aerospace giants to the Main Street, mom-and-pop shops.
At the call of the governor, the Washington Legislature begins a special session today with the sole purpose of giving Boeing the tax rates it wants to pay until 2040—more than a quarter century. But the representative group for a much larger employer wondered why that same certainty couldn’t be granted all businesses.
“We’re calling on legislators to add every business into whatever bill it crafts to grant Boeing and Governor Inslee their wishes,” said Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest small-business association. “Just think, our state’s governor could catapult into the national limelight if he were to take the lead on something that has only been talked about but never accomplished in any state: Tax and regulatory certainty for a long period of time. We’ll take that Boeing deal, too, governor.”
Connor said the same big questions lawmakers will ask for Boeing are applicable to small business as well.
- If a global corporate titan like Boeing can’t afford to build its latest line of aircraft in Washington state without a special, lower business and occupations (B&O) tax rate …
- If it can’t afford to construct or expand buildings without a sales and use tax exemption and expedited permitting …
- If it can’t attract qualified, highly-skilled workers with the generous salaries and benefits it offers without a 1,000 new taxpayer-financed community and technical college slots and state subsidized aerospace-specific training and re-training programs …
… how can we expect small business owners – who rarely enjoy such government largess – to thrive in our state?
“By improving our state’s business climate for all, we not only protect the Boeing jobs of today, but lay the groundwork for entrepreneurs to become the Boeings of tomorrow,” added Connor.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, “Small businesses significantly impact Washington’s economy. They represent 98.1 percent of all employers and employ 53.7 percent of the private-sector labor force. Small businesses are crucial to the fiscal condition of the state and numbered 546,885 in 2010”